No its not my body…silly goose…its the body of Christ. Of which you and I are called to be a part. But you cannot truly be a part of the body of Christ or any body so to speak…if you refuse to contribute to the body’s functions…or if you deny the very existence of the body. My discussion today will center around the Eucharist or Communion. As I begin I have a bone to pick with my protestant family members. When I was part of the Pentecostal blend of Christianity. One of the things that I was most intrigued about was the preaching and or discussion of typology. For in the Catholic church you never heard of such things albeit they were there all along. And for those of you who know nothing about typology.. it is simply this.
It is an event or an action as recorded in the Old Testament scriptures. That prefigures a future event in the New Testament in form an fashion. And for my own purpose today we will be discussing the sacrificial lamb and its blood in the Exodus of the Jews. An event which was and is a foreshadowing or looking forward to the sacrifice and blood of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary in the new. And in particular the Eucharist in the Catholic church. Now let me take the gloves off for a minute because this is going to develop into a real street fight. One of the things I missed most in going to Pentecostal services was Holy Communion Catholic style in the Mass. My Pentecostal brethren were always talking badly through the years in a kind of tongue in cheek way. About the Catholic Church. And most of them had come from it including the pastor. And I could never find any real justification for their comments. In other words they were just repeating something with no real grounds for saying it.. and the person next to them would simply agree.
For instance a Pentecostal would say that Catholics worship the pope and another one or two would simply agree. Whereas I as a Catholic know that I don’t worship the pope in any way shape or form…And that he is simply elected as the chief overseer of the church. But he does not act alone and has a huge body of educated Godly…for the most part…men under him. Men who are debating rigorously as to the direction the Church should take. Keep in mind that I said for the most part. For the devil goes to church also. And he holds offices in all Christian venues be they Protestant or Catholic. And his office may very well be your Pastor or my Bishop. Think its not true? Think I am filled with allot of hot air? Lets go together to the Word of God in the book of Second Corinthians chapter 11…Starting in verse 13…For such are false apostles, deceitful workers in the church. Having transformed themselves into workers of Christ. And this is no marvel…for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing that his ministers can also be transformed into the ministers of righteousness. Whose end will be according to their works.
So there you have it. Satan and his minions being exposed by Paul as having infiltrated the church both then and now. And even more so now with the passage of some two thousand years of church history. So is it now so amazing by any stretch of the imagination that Satan should be spending so much time trying to degrade Catholicism and in particular the sacrament of the Eucharist? I don’t think so….this is war. We now have the term being bantered about…false news. You may also be unaware that Martin Luther was a great devotee of Mary the mother of God. Which Pentecostals also despise. And Mary who was a New Testament typology of the Old Testament type being the Ark of the Covenant. An Ark which the Jews carried which contained the ten commandments stones, Aarons rod that budded and the very presence of God himself. In fact if anyone so much as touched the ark they died instantaneously. Mary herself having been immaculately conceived…another teaching of the Catholic Church. Was chosen as the New Testament ark which would carry the very being of God in the form of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Just two more things and I will move on to the Eucharist. If Mary was not herself conceived in an immaculate way. Than Christ would have been carried in an unpure or sinful vessel. And if you think that Mary was just some arbitrary lady both then and now..well..you need to check out your own salvation…Second Corinthians 5 verse 21…For
God has made him to be sin for us…who knew no sin. That we might become the righteousness of God through Him…That means that during and after his birth as well as during his life leading up to the cross…he was without sin. And if Mary was in fact a sinful vessel as is every other woman on earth. Our Lord would have been born into the same original sin as you and I are. Jesus became sin for us only at the moment of being nailed to the wooden cross…not before. But that is a lesson for another blog. I love Mary and you should to. Now lets get back to communion. For it is in and through communion that we grow nearer and nearer to Jesus.
In the book of Exodus chapter 12 beginning in verse 1…the Lord God initiates his divine plan for humanity. It begins in Egypt with the Jews in captivity as we shall soon read. and it culminates with the blood and the flesh of the Lamb of God…Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. This is the bibles recording of the first Passover….The Lord said to Moses and Aron in Egypt. This month shall be the beginning of months to you. It will be the first month of the year. Tell all the congregation of Israel. That on the tenth day of the month, they shall take every man a lamb or a kid. According to the size of the family of which he is the father. A lamb or a kid for each house.
And if the household is to small to consume the lamb, let him and his next door neighbor take it according to the number of persons. Every man according to what each can eat shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb or kid will be without blemish, a male of the first year. And you will take it from your sheep or your goats. And will keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill each his lamb in the evening. They shall take of the blood and apply it to the two doorposts and to the lintel above the door of the house where they shall eat the Passover lamb. and they shall eat the flesh in that night also. Roast with fire and unleavened bread. And with bitter herbs shall they eat it.
Do not eat it raw or boiled with water. But roast it with fire. Its head and its legs and the appurtenance thereof. And you shall let none of it remain until the morning. And should any of it remain in the morning you will burn it with fire. And thus you shall eat it…with your clothes on and your shoes on your feet. And your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste for it is the Lords Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night…And I will kill all the firstborn in the land of Egypt.
Both of man and beast. And over the gods of Egypt I will execute judgement…I am the Lord. And the blood shall be as a token for you upon the houses where you are. And when I see the blood I will Passover you. And the plague will not be upon you to destroy you…When I smite the land of Egypt.
And this day shall be to you a memorial throughout your generations. And you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord. You shall keep it as a feast by ordinance forever. And now lets fast forward to Jesus sitting at the table with the apostles at the table of the last supper as we know it. It was by the way the very week of Passover which we just read was to be kept by the Jews as an ordinance forever. And this is exactly why Jesus was there. He knew that he was about to become the final Passover Lamb to be sacrificed. Only this time the lamb was in fact the spotless, sinless Lamb of God. And this time the blood was not going to applied to the doorposts. It was to cover the sins of every man, woman and child who would ask of him the forgiveness of their sins…forever and ever. Have you done that yet? The gospel of Luke chapter 22 starting in verses 14….And when the hour had come he sat down with his apostles at the table. And he said to them. with great desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I say to you that I will not eat any more of it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of Heaven.
And he took the cup and gave thanks…and said to them. Take this and divide it among you. For I say to you that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom of God shall come. And then he took bread and gave thanks and broke it giving it to them saying…This is my body which is given for you..do this in memory of me.. Likewise after supper he took the cup in like manner. This is the cup of the new testament in my blood which is shed for you. Now please correct me if I’m wrong. Jesus is sitting at the table with them..am I correct so far? His human body and the blood contained in it is eating dinner with the apostles at the table. And then he picks up the wine cup…Which of course had unfermented concord grape juice in it for you Pentecostals out there… and he says this is my blood. And then he breaks some bread and gives it to them saying this is my body. All if this being done.. he tells them that whenever you do this ..do it in memory of me..
Now lets backtrack to quite some time before this when Jesus is addressing the Jews and his disciples who were gathered before him in a synagogue. The Gospel of John chapter 6 beginning in verse 47…Truly ,truly I say to you he that believes in me has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness and are dead. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eats this bread he shall live forever. And the bread that I give you is my flesh. Which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews hearing this argued among themselves…How can this man give us his flesh to eat?. Then Jesus said to them. truly I say to you that unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. And I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells in me and I in him.
And as the living Father has sent me…and I live by the Father. So he that eats me shall live by me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers who ate manna and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever…So now let me ask you. There were only twelve people at the last supper table. How do you think everyone else who comes to know Christ both then and into the future is going to eat his flesh and drink his blood to have eternal life within them? I’m waiting….It is done during the mass. Which is and has been going on in the Catholic Church long before there was a Protestant Reformation. And may I add long after the Reformation. Jesus truly is present in the Eucharist.. when we believe in faith that he is.. every Sunday at mass and every other day as well….To be continued